Top 20 Finish For WPS Racing New Zealand's John McIntyre, driving in his first street race for eight years, today piloted his WPS Racing Ford Falcon to 19th position in the first of the two-race Gillette V8 Supercar Challenge on Queensland's...
Top 20 Finish For WPS Racing
New Zealand's John McIntyre, driving in his first street race for eight years, today piloted his WPS Racing Ford Falcon to 19th position in the first of the two-race Gillette V8 Supercar Challenge on Queensland's Gold Coast.
McIntyre, who qualified in 28th position, put in a grinding drive to make up nine positions in an action-filled race on the tight Surfers Paradise circuit.
He will now start Sunday's second race from 19th position, giving him the opportunity to post a top 15 finish in one of the toughest races of the year.
McIntyre got the call up to race at Surfers Paradise after regular-season driver David Besnard moved into a Champ Car for a one-off drive in the Lexmark Indy 300.
It left a vacancy in his Car 23 V8 Supercar. WPS Racing team owner Craig Gore called on McIntyre to fill the vacancy following his fine performance as Besnard's co-driver in last month's Bathurst 1000.
McIntyre has had just three starts in the V8 Supercar Championship Series, each of those as a co-driver in endurance races.
"It was great to finish my first single race in the V8 championship and it's nice to get across the line in possibly the toughest race of the series," said McIntyre.
"I just stuck to my weekend plan which is to stay out of trouble and go as fast as I can. It worked today and I'll be doing the same tomorrow."
McIntyre said the Indy experience had been awesome and he was looking forward to a solid result on Sunday.
"Driving around here reminds me of the awesome opportunity I've been given to be in the V8 Supercar championship at Surfers Paradise," he said.
"Going on the parade lap before the race was pretty special and I can't believe the number of people they pack in here.
"It has been a privilege being here and I'm really enjoying it."
The second Wright Patton Shakespeare-supported entry, Car 48 driven by Alex Yoong, had a less than happy day after being punted out of the race on the first lap.
Yoong started from position 29 on the grid and only got through a couple of turns when he made way for Russell Ingall, who spun out after starting from 3rd on the grid and was beginning his climb back through the field.
As Ingall went past he clipped the front of Yoong's car and broke his front upright.
"I'm totally disappointed. My weekend is effectively over," said Yoong.
"I was out of the race before I had a chance to get started and I will be starting from the rear of the grid for Sunday's race.
"It is just a very disappointing way to end the day."